For those of us who can remember standing on the front seat of a Buick Special while mom drove to the market, or cruising around in a Plymouth convertible with no seat belts, modern safety equipment may seem a touch extreme. But with roughly 246 million cars on the road these days (and distracted driving on the rise), it’s clear that a lackadaisical approach to vehicle safety will no longer do. These days, stock safety devices are becoming increasingly common, and in many states, they can also earn drivers discounts on car insurance.

And as cars become more futuristic, more and more car manufacturers are pushing the envelope on safety features. Older items — like seat belts and airbags — are now standard on new cars, and newer, stronger features are constantly being tested.

Safety device discounts on car insurance

Stock safety devices are becoming increasingly common, and in many states, they can also earn drivers discounts on car insurance. Many car insurance companies — Esurance included — offer built-in discounts if your vehicle features automatic seat belts, airbags, and similar safety equipment. And if you’ve added safety features to your car, you may be able to select more safety equipment-related discounts.

Some good examples of safety equipment include:

  • Seat belts — It’s hard to believe that the first mandatory seat belt law in the nation passed in New York just 27 years ago. Nowadays, seat belts are an absolute minimum when it comes to safety, and not wearing one could cost you a chunk of change if you’re pulled over.
  • Airbags — While airbags started to become more commonplace in the late 1980s, driver and passenger airbags have only been mandatory since 1998 (or 1999 for trucks).
  • Head restraints — It may seem like a no-brainer these days, but remember when mom could reach over the seat and wipe your nose? Quality head restraints can prevent whiplash, and are mostly standard in modern cars.

Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) discount

Like seat belts and head restraints, it’s easy to take anti-lock brakes for granted. And though they’ve been on the scene since 1978, they’re still not standard on all vehicles. They’re often available as an optional extra, however, and could be worth the investment.

Anti-Theft discount

You might also qualify for discounts on your car insurance if your car’s equipped with an anti-theft device like LoJack®, Teletrac, or OnStar.

To find out if you have certain devices or features, check your user’s manual, or contact a nearby dealer.

Discounts by state

Please note (and this is important): All car insurance discounts vary by state. Visit our discount page to find out which discounts Esurance offers in your hometown, or check with your insurer to see what they have available.

Additional resources

How to differentiate anti-theft systems
More info on Esurance discounts
State-specific insurance info

Insurance 101 | Car insurance 101


about Heidi

Heidi brings 11 years’ experience to her role as Esurance’s copywriting manager. Writer, editor, and all around wordsy, she was content when content wasn’t cool. Also, she likes old-school country.